Daniel Cormier is backing fellow former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in his upcoming fight against British superstar Anthony Joshua.
In his second professional fight as a boxer, Ngannou will go up against the former two-time heavyweight champion on March 8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Ngannou made his boxing debut against WBC champion Tyson Fury last October.
In a very unexpected turn of events, Fury was dropped in the third round and struggled with Ngannou’s style for the remainder of the fight. Fury won a razor-close ten round split decision.
“Can Francis do what he did before or exceed that? Because you’ve got to think that Tyson Fury that fought Francis Ngannou is going to have fought the worst version of Francis Ngannou there will ever be as a boxer. He was an amateur when he fought Tyson Fury. Now he’s shared the ring with the lineal heavyweight champion of the world, knocked him down and fought a very competitive fight where some people thought he actually won. He will be better the second time around,” Cormier stated on his Youtube Channel.
Despite the great showing against Fury in 2023, Joshua has opened up as a significant favorite.
Cormier expects Ngannou to be a much better fighter in his next boxing appearance.
“You’re telling me after watching that fight with Tyson Fury, and watching that Francis Ngannou, that he still doesn’t have a better chance of winning?” Cormier said.
“Especially when he’s fighting a guy that denied Tyson Fury. We have seen Usyk beat Joshua, but I think the most – and I will relate this to this fight because of the dangers that Francis shows. Go back and watch the second Ruiz fight with Anthony Joshua.
“He’s a big, strong guy, but after Ruiz beat him the first time, he won, but he fought very, very safe. And Andy Ruiz looks like me, no disrespect. How’s he gonna respond to a guy that looks like Francis Ngannou in front of him? A big, strong scary dude that’s looking to knock his head off, who is going to be better than he was when he fought the lineal heavyweight champion in first professional fight.”
At the same time, Cormier believes Ngannou needs to take the fight to Joshua – even more than he did against Fury.
“For him to win, he’s got to do what he did last time, but he’s got to be a little more ferocious in his approach,” Cormier said.
“Because I really do believe that if he approaches this fight with bad intent and he goes out there and he’s swinging and he’s a little bit reckless, I believe he will make Joshua fight in such a way that it will limit all of these skills that he’s built over a lifetime. I think Francis has a chance, and I think Francis can get it done,” Cormier said.